Professional License - Mathematics Teacher

The UMass Amherst College of Education prepares you meet the requirements for receiving a professional mathematics teaching license in grades 5-8 or grades 8-12. This state-approved secondary mathematics professional licensure program significantly extends the opportunities for teachers holding initial license to teach secondary mathematics. To be eligible for professional license, certain licensing requirements must be met http://www.doe.mass.edu/licensure/academic-prek12/teacher/license-types.html

What humans do with the language of mathematics is to describe patterns. Mathematics is an exploratory science that seeks to understand every kind of pattern--patterns that occur in nature, patterns invented by the human mind, and even patterns created by other patterns. To grow mathematically, children must be exposed to a rich variety of patterns appropriate to their own lives through which they can see variety, regularity, and interconnections.

 

Steen, L. "On the shoulders of giants. New approaches to numeracy."

Is this program right for you?

If you answer yes to the following questions this program is right for you.

  • Do you hold an Initial license in the same field as the Professional license sought?
  • Have you been employed under the Initial license for at least three years and have completed a one-year induction program with a mentor and at least fifty hours of a mentored experience beyond the induction year?
  • Have you completed one of the following (UMass program-related):
    • An approved licensure program for the Professional license sought as set forth in the Guidelines for Program Approval, or
    • A program leading to eligibility for master teacher status, such as those sponsored by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and others accepted by the Commissioner, or
    • For those who have completed any master's or higher degree or other advanced graduate program in an accredited college or university, at least 12 credits of graduate level courses in subject matter knowledge or pedagogy based on the subject matter knowledge of the Professional license sought; these may include credits earned prior to application for the license.

 

Ready to get started? Fill out this form and an advisor will get in touch with you about the admissions process.

Course Descriptions

Learning experiences in the professional license program support growth in teachers’ mathematical and statistical content knowledge, mathematical and statistical content knowledge for teaching, use of tools for supporting mathematical and statistical learning, and further strengthen teachers’ dispositions toward reflective practice and leadership.

The UMass structure for professional licensure includes a rotating set of content- and process-oriented courses that cycle periodically, with at least two courses taught per calendar year. For Professional Licensure, teachers with Initial Licenses in 5-8 or 8-12 Mathematics will take at least four of the following five courses (course descriptions below):

  • EDUC 697SM - Statistics and Modeling in the Secondary Curriculum
  • EDUC 697SN - Rate of Change and Modeling in the Secondary Curriculum
  • EDUC 651PSM - Problem Solving in Mathematics
  • EDUC 710 - Developing Mathematical Ideas, Reasoning, and Argumentation
  • EDUC 711 - Recent Developments in Secondary Mathematics

These courses purposely address content and pedagogical areas identified by local districts and mathematics educators as essential and needed to support teacher development. Provided teachers have at least 3 years of successful mathematics teaching in mathematics successful completion of four or more of these courses with a B or better will enable teachers to advance their license from initial to professional.

EDUC 697SM - Statistics and Modeling in the Secondary Curriculum

This course is designed to explore secondary mathematics curriculum topics and innovations. You will investigate current trends in national, state, and local professional curriculum recommendations as well as contemporary and innovative instructional materials designed to support current curricular recommendations. The course will expand your understanding of mathematics and statistics teaching and learning, while at the same time, support your mathematical and statistical content knowledge, content knowledge for teaching, and facility with technological tools appropriate for use in the secondary mathematics or science or other content area classroom. Mathematics and statistics education research will be explored as we consider similarities and differences among intended, enacted (implemented), and achieved (attained) curricula as well as student opportunity to learn.

The course will focus on exploring the influence of exploratory data analysis and statistics on middle and high school curricula. Students will be engaged as learners of statistical content as well as teachers of statistical content or researchers in the realm of statistics education. Students will learn to use innovative statistical software tools for modeling and analyzing data and making decisions as well as to support student learning of data analysis and statistics. The course will emphasize statistical reasoning, thinking, and literacy and will have implications for secondary classroom implementation. Contemporary secondary curricula will be examined for potential to support professional curricular recommendations. 

EDUC 697SN - Rate of Change and Modeling in the Secondary Curriculum

This course will focus on exploring rate of change, as a watershed concept, across middle and high school curricula. Rate of change is a conceptually rich area, most commonly associated with the study of Calculus that can be developed from a very early age and with connections across scientific disciplines. Students will be engaged as learners of mathematical content as well as teachers of mathematical content or researchers in the realm of mathematics education. Students will learn to use innovative software tools for mathematical modeling as well as to support student learning of big ideas associated with rate of change. Contemporary secondary instructional materials will be examined for potential to support professional curricular recommendations. Mathematics education research will be explored in consideration of similarities and differences among intended, enacted (implemented), and achieved (attained) curricula as well as student opportunity to learn. The course will incorporate ideas about functions, graphs, and patterns and how to investigate change and rate of change in a variety of ways– algebraically, graphically, numerically, etc., and using a variety of tools – paper and pencil, calculators, manipulatives, and a variety of technological tools (e.g., Desmos, GeoGebra, and applets). Teachers will have the opportunity to reflect on their own teaching of these ideas and trace the development of ideas of change and rate of change from middle school through high school and consider contemporary related topics. They will answer questions such as: How does rate of change appear in the curriculum? How is the concept enhanced or developed through the grades? How are different representations of this idea incorporated? How can we tell? How well do secondary curriculum materials engage students with 21st century rate of change ideas?

EDUC 651 - Problem Solving in Mathematics


This course is designed to help students deepen their understanding of mathematical problem solving and how it can be used in teaching to promote mathematical learning in students of all ages. Topics that will be addressed in the course include the following: (1) how effective problem solvers solve mathematical problems, (2) how people learn in problem solving and how to use problem solving in teaching, and (3) how to design lessons that incorporate problem solving. The course is open to anyone interested in the role of problem solving in learning, teaching and research.  

EDUC 710SM- Developing Mathematical Ideas, Reasoning, and Argumentation

The course is designed to support students’ understanding of the processes involved in the development of mathematical ideas, reasoning and argumentation in mathematics. The topics to be covered include the following: (1) how learners build mathematical ideas, including their conceptions and misconceptions of key mathematical concepts, (2) classroom settings and teaching strategies that support students’ development of mathematical ideas, reasoning, and argumentation, and (3) getting a better understanding of mathematical content, different types of reasoning, and argumentation.  The course is designed to help teachers develop a mathematics pedagogy that promotes mathematical understanding and reasoning in mathematics classrooms.

EDUC 711 - Recent Developments in Secondary Mathematics

Students will explore the use of dynamic technological tools for teaching and learning mathematics. In addition to developing facility with some of these tools, students will explore issues of visualization, simulation, and animation and their impacts on learning. Mathematical investigations will form the basis for utilizing technology and innovative curriculum materials will be utilized. The course will incorporate critical evaluation of current literature, research, and studies in curriculum and teaching of secondary school mathematics and is relevant to practitioners and researchers. This course serves as the Advanced Methods course for STEP Mathematics students and incorporates an assessment of student learning as required for licensure. It also serves the Professional Licensure program for students not completing it for initial licensure.

The class will likely explore Geogebra, Desmos, Cabri Plus II, Cabri 3D, Fathom2, Tinkerplots, CPMP-Tools, and CODAP as tools for supporting students’ mathematical problem solving, reasoning, and connections. It is possible that explorations will include the use of TI-84 or TI-Nspire calculators, but familiarity with handheld function graphers is assumed. As technologies emerge, they may be incorporated into class or independent investigations (e.g., TuvaLabs, Plottly, Pixar in a Box, etc.). This class is offered every spring.

Application Process

When you are ready to apply, fill out our Online Application. The deadline for being admitted in the spring is October 1. The deadline for being admitted in the fall is March 1.

The admissions process is competitive and all complete applications will be carefully reviewed. The online application allows you to upload all information necessary for the admissions process. You can start your application, save it, and return to it prior to submission. 

For initial inquiries, and to begin the admissions process, please fill out the "Get Started" form.

If you are ready to fill out an application, fill out the "Online Application"

For all other questions about this program, contact the program advisors, Dr. Sandra Madden or Dr. John Francisco.